- Published on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 18:59
- Hits: 1879
By Fisayo Dairo
Abdullahi Musa scored with virtually the last kick of the game as Wikki Tourists of Bauchi recorded a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over ten-man FC Ifeanyiubah in the opening game of the 2016/17 NPFL Super4 tournament in Enugu.
Musa capitalized on a sloppy piece of defending by Ifeanyiubah deep into stoppage time to strike home Richard Jonathan's corner from 16 yards. The winner came when the game was poised to end all square after Wikki's Shammah Tanze restored parity for his side with seven minutes left on the clock to cancel out Yaya Kone's opener for the Anambra Warriors.
Both teams who are managed by new coaches seized the opportunity presented by the pre-season tournament to showcase some of their new recruits right from the onset. The duo of Yaro Bature and Shammah Tanze who joined Wikki from Nasarawa United led the front line for the Tourists while for Ifeanyiubah, new signings King Osanga, Yaya Kone and Wisdom Magbisa were given their debuts upfront.
Wikki Tourists had the better of the opening exchanges and almost went ahead in the sixth minute after Ifeanyiubah's Ivorian goalkeeper Drissa Bamba was beaten by Yaro Bature but defender Onyekachi Akakem cleared Mubarak Umar's effort right on the goal line.
FC Ifeanyiubah went forward almost immediately and new signing King Osanga saw his effort cleared off the line by Wikki captain Mustapha Ibrahim.
The Tourists remained on the ascendancy throughout the first half but could not really test the Ifeanyiubah back line marshaled by Akakem.
The Anambra Warriors, as FC Ifeanyiubah are fondly called came out more purposefully in the second half of the encounter and got their due rewards just before the hour mark when Wikki defender Abdullahi Musa hacked down former Golden Eaglets star, Osanga inside the penalty box. Yaya Soumaila Kone who was signed from Lobi Stars cooly converted the spot kick, sending Emeka Nwabulu the wrong way.
The joy of going in front would later be put to serious test after star defender Onyekachi Akakem saw red four minutes after Kone's goal for a deliberate handball which booking meant it was his second of the game.
Ifeanyiubah barely managed to hang on until late in the game when the Tourists attacked in torrents. By the time Shammah Tanze brought out the best in Drissa Bamba courtesy a fine header to a Jonathan Zikiye cross, it was seeming just a matter of time before the equalizer would come.
Two minutes later, parity was restored. Tanze who is making a return to Wikki after a two-year stint at Nasarawa United latched on to a brilliant ball over the top by Ya'u Hassan and bury his half-volley beyond Bamba with seven minutes left on the clock.
There was still enough time left however for Wikki's consistent defender Abdullahi Musa to atone for his indiscretion in giving away a penalty earlier as he fired home the game's winner after Richard Jonathan, who had impressed on his debut as a substitute swung in a corner. Musa's effort went beyond Bamba who had a hand to it but could not keep it out.
Wikki Tourists: 22. Emeka Nwabulu 4. Mustapha Ibrahim 26. Jonathan Zikiye 20. Ya'u Hassan 5. Abdullahi Musa 29. Nnaemeka Anyanwu 7. Mukhtar Alhassan (Richard Jonathan 55') 10. Idris Sabo 9. Shammah Tanze (Abubakar Lawal 87') 17. Mubarak Umar (Omo Johnson 60') 25. Yaro Bature (Idris Guda Mohammed 80')
Unused Subs: 30. Gambo Gideon 15. Festus Umanah 14. Harrison Madu 6. Emenike Onuoha
FC Ifeanyiubah: 21. Drissa Bamba 30. Elu Wilson 20. Isaac Loute (Isaac Steven 74') 14. Eric Darko (Tony Msonter 45') 5. Onyekachi Akakem 2. Emmanuel Okoh 28. Siba Adams 11. Wisdom Magbisa (Michael Egbeta 69') 13. Yaya Kone (Jimoh Oni 85') 26. Pascal Seka (Felix Osia 73') 32. King Osanga
Unused Subs: 1. Ikechukwu Ezenwa 17. Godwin Inamoto 6. Stephen Eze 4. Olamilekan Aniyikaye
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